Republican Lincoln helped make Democrats of a lot of proponents of slavery and a lot of conservatives in other respects. (And also helped make African Americans Lincoln Republicans, like MLK, Sr and Senator Brooke of Massachusetts).
Ergo, the Democratic Party had a strong conservative streak from at least Lincoln forward, if not earlier. (Recall, Jefferson, a slave owner, is considered the father of the Party.)
Wallace and Thurmond are 20th Century examples of "Lincoln Democrats." (My little twist on Reagan Democrats.) And a lot of them began turning Republican after integration measures by FDR and Truman. The Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, of course, began a more massive exodus.
Meanwhile, the strong conservative streak of the Democratic Party had always been struggling for more control of the Party. Wallace and Thurmond are examples of some old timers who were "Lincoln Democrats." (My little twist on Reagan Democrats.) And a lot of them began turning on the Democratic Party after integration measures by FDR and Truman. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 began a more massive exodus. It tried to move after McGovern lost, to institute super delegates and, in general, make the party less democratic. However, all it succeed in doing then officially was undoing the Democratic Party reforms that McGovern instituted. Still, it kept trying.
With Lee Atwater's help, Reagan used a lot of dog whistles as his Southern strategy. After "Reagan Democrats" and Mondale's loss, they did succeed in instituting Super Delegates, thereby making the Party less democratic. (A fair number of years later, the Republicans followed suit, but Democrats were by far the first to try to put mechanisms in place to overrule the outcomes of their own primaries, as I said, all the way back to McGovern.) (I think Lee Atwater's South
And that is about the time the DLC officially formed. If you look at the wiki of the DLC, you see the founding members were mostly white Southern males with Presidential aspirations, like Bubba, Gore and Warner, the most notable exceptions being Lieberman and Hillary.
The founding members didn't all end up running for President, but, at that time, all were considered to have that potential. And they wanted the Southern vote when they ran, especially their own states (which Gore could not carry, even with the New Democrat business). Or, maybe being raised in the South among conservatives, some of them did have a genuine fiscally conservative streak, too, quite apart from their personal ambitions. Either way, as I see it, that is how we got to the DLC and "pragmatic" Democrats, aka New Democrats.
I strongly agree with you about the yuppies. That crowd and their followers are the ones trying to tell us it's all about winning elections and only about winning elections. But I don't believe them. I think they share a lot of fiscal goals with the Republicans, but not the social goals. That simple.
Geez, maybe I should make this an OP somewhere
At first, yes, the dog whistles were only leaks and plants with media, like the Wright "black liberation theology" tapes and the photos of Obama in traditional Kenyan clothing.
Then, it went to surrogates, including Bill, dog whistling about drugs, black liberation theology, Jesse Jackson, and "shuckin' and jivin' (as if that would be something that just naturally rolled out of the mouth of Cuomo!).
Then, it went to surrogates being explicit, like Geraldine Ferrara saying flat out that the only reason that Obama was succeeding was that he was "black." (Because more Democrats are black, like Obama, than are female, like Hillary?)
However, as Hillary's chances got dimmer and dimmer, she finally identified her constituency as "hard working white people," which went well beyond dog whistle, though it certainly encompassed the "lazy" and "welfare" dog whistles. (This, from a woman who had earlier "tone deafly" compared being a United States Senator in a Republican majority Senate to being a slave on a plantation!)
After Bill's "casual" comment about Jesse Jackson, I had heard that Kennedy had warned that one more "racially tinged" campaign move would cause him (Kennedy) to declare openly for Obama (instead of allowing the primary to play out). Then, after Game Change came out, I read the bit about the private conversation between Bubba and Ted. Supposedly, Bubba said that, a couple of years ago, Obama would have been bringing them both coffee and the only reason that Ted was supporting Obama was because Obama was "black."
Aside from the racism, I had a hard time believing that Bubba, whom I see as one of the smartest people and best politicians on the planet, could be that clumsy and miss it by that much, both as to the "racially-tinged" campaign in general and how to win over Kennedy specifically. And, I think just "allowing" a racially-tinged campaign, especially one so transparent and clumsy, speaks volumes about America's alleged "First Black President" and his First Spouse.
If there is a real, hard-fought Democratic primary, these things will be raised against Hillary again and again. If there is a coronation or a dog-and-pony show aimed at convincing Democrats they are getting a primary when they are actually getting a coronation, Hillary will not be hit with these things again and again. So, I'll be watching. Meanwhile, Democrats, both PTB and rank and file, need to consider carefully what a Hillary nomination, despite her "racially-tinged" campaign against Obama, might do to one of their heretofore most steadfastly loyal constituencies.
Speaking of "racially-tinged," I never heard that term before the Hillary campaign. Until then, as far as I knew, something was either racist or it wasn't. Maybe the racism was subtle, or clumsy dog whistle, or blatant, but, in any event, it was either racist or not racist.
Was "racially tinged" invented to avoid accusing the Hillary campaign of being racist, or did I just miss it before Hillary's campaign? (Candidly, I think I am as capable of guessing as the next DUer, but does anyone know for sure when that term first hit our common lexicon?)
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